E-M1 Mk I to Mk II Transition Questions

Replytoken

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I recently took advantage of the outlet sale to pick up an E-M-1 Mk II body. While I have been considering this purchase for a while (but was not certain about it), the timing is a bit off for me with respect to an upcoming trip, and I could use a bit of advice. I am normally loathe to take any new gear on a trip until it has been in my hands and shot with for a bit of time. I have an out of town conference beginning this weekend, and was debating about which body to bring (E-M1 Mk I or II), as I cannot bring both. From the outside, they look and seem to handle in a very similar manner, but I know the Mk II has a lot more horsepower under the hood and I am not sure if that is going to trip me up. I was wondering if I could just mimic the settings and features of the Mk I body, not unlike what I have done with Nikon bodies when needing to move quickly from one to another, and still take advantage of some of the improvements, but leaving the new features alone or turned off.

Then I got to thinking about the FW update for the Mk II. The body shipped with v2.3 and I know that v3.1 is a substantial improvement. I could take the body with 2.3 or update it and focus on learning the body with all of its new features. That thought, while sounding logical if I was at home and not in a hurry, seems like it could further complicate my bringing the new body. And then that begs the question of lens firmware. I am still not sure if my lenses will need updates to work with the new body. My current PC does not have their updating software, so at least I do not have to deal with that mess that @Growltiger and others touched upon in this thread - https://www.mu-43.com/threads/firmware-update-e-m1-mark-ii.104219/ . I have limited free time today and on Friday to get my gear in order, and feel bad about possibly leaving a new (and better) body behind, but I know what can happen with relying on new equipment that I am not familiar with. Any thoughts or suggestions, especially related to firmware updates for the body or lenses, would be especially appreciated. I wish I had an extra week or two of free time to get this transition out.

--Ken
 

Growltiger

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If you do what I suggest it is so easy to do the update. 3.1 is a big improvement, go for it.
(Note that some other people like to do other clever things and will tell you to remove SD cards, or use an SD card to do the update, use modified firmware, take off the lens, plus various other things akin to witchcraft. It doesn't matter if you don't want Olympus Workspace and will never use it - I don't either. But this is the official way and it "just works".)
1. You download Olympus Workspace and install it.
2. You update Olympus Workspace using Help/Update software. Now you are running version 1.1.
3. Plug in the camera and click OK on the back to accept storage mode.
4. In the Olympus Workspace menu do Camera/Update and update the camera to 3.1.
If there is a lens on that needs updating you should do that too but don't worry, lens updates are much less critical.
 

Carbonman

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I've made the transition myself. My recommendations:
  1. Update the E-M1 Mk.II body to 3.1
  2. Update all of your lenses as required. This is optional - your lenses will all work on the new camera regardless.
  3. Open the menus on both cameras and duplicate every setting that you can from the Mk.I to the Mk.II. This will give you all the operations and settings you're already familiar with.
  4. Only read about new capabilities in the instructions and go to those features to set them so you don't bury yourself in reading prior to going on your trip. Worst case scenario is that you'll have a more comfortable camera with familiar settings and slightly better image quality.
 

turbodieselvw

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It has been a couple of years since I transitioned from Mk1 to Mk2 but if I recall, they were more or less similar. I didn't read the manual for the Mk2 before starting to use it (and still haven't other than for specific "need to know" functions).
 

Replytoken

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Thanks for the replies. This is the road that I wanted to head down, but you just never know what unexpected things you may encounter (like an incompatible lens that needs its FW updated to be operable again). Since I am starting from a clear SW slate, I will try to squeeze this in later today if I can. Funny, I just received an email for the trade in/trade up program minutes ago. I am not sure if I would be better off with the refurb or with the new deal. I have an E-M5 with grip that is low mileage that I was thinking of selling to offset the cost of the new body. Thanks for more choices Olympus!:hmmm:

--Ken
 

ac12

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Update the FW on both the mk1 and mk2.
Try to duplicate the mk1 config in the mk2.
There are a LOT of new stuff in the mk2.

I used this as a start.
http://flightlevel42.co.za/OMDEM1Mk2menusettingsMDYFW3.pdf

But, I would take the camera that you are familiar with, the mk1.
IMHO, unless you have the time to learn the new gear, a trip/important event is not the time to be learning a new camera. I've been burnt before: by a new feature or a function that was moved, and I could not find it, etc.
I shot the school graduation with my mk1 rather than my recently purchased mk2. The graduation was NOT the time for me to be learning the new camera. Especially if it behaves different.
 

robcee

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Having recently made the upgrade myself, these are all solid suggestions.

I found shooting with the MkII to be surprising, initially. I migrated my previous settings as best I could, and cribbed settings from:

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/m43/em1.2-sett.html

It’s a different shooting experience! It’s so much faster and the sensor is better (highlight recovery, long(er) exposures, etc.).

One thing I miss from the EM1mkI is the 4 banks of settings. Three just doesn’t cut it with this many options.

Battery life feels shorter. Despite the bigger cell, the high speed functions can drain it pretty quickly. The EVF sucks up a bunch of power, which you’ll need if you’re doing a lot of Continuous Focus or ProCap shooting. Get an extra (or two, if you’re traveling).

Get a UHSII card for the first slot. Use the second slot for JPEG backups. The JPEG card is great for exporting through OI.Share or a USB reader to phone or tablet.

What else? Enjoy the new rig! The best way to get used to it is to take a lot of pics. :2thumbs:
 
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blackfox wildlife

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having had the MKii for all of two weeks now and done the firmware update and having owned a 10-mkii previously . all I can say is a total doddle to use just do it and use it I am now turning out shots I have craved for the last 20 years .. its only as complicated in some peoples minds .
 

Replytoken

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having had the MKii for all of two weeks now and done the firmware update and having owned a 10-mkii previously . all I can say is a total doddle to use just do it and use it I am now turning out shots I have craved for the last 20 years .. its only as complicated in some peoples minds .
Glad to hear it is delivering shots you have been seeking. While FW upgrades are generally not complicated (at least they have not been for me), Olympus did not do anybody any favors with all of the software changes of recent that were detailed in the thread I linked above. Given my time constraints, I did not want to find myself stuck in the middle of one not going well while running out of time.

--Ken
 

Acraftman

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Glad to hear it is delivering shots you have been seeking. While FW upgrades are generally not complicated (at least they have not been for me), Olympus did not do anybody any favors with all of the software changes of recent that were detailed in the thread I linked above. Given my time constraints, I did not want to find myself stuck in the middle of one not going well while running out of time.

--Ken
Maybe a moot point but I just called Olympus when I was ready to update my em5mkll after three years of not doing it and they were very helpful and walked me right thru it.
 

Holoholo55

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@Replytoken, I went through a similar transition when I got my II a few years ago. It didn't feel like the transition was particularly troublesome as I started by duplicating my old settings from the I in the II. However, as @ac12 suggested, shooting the trip with your I is the safest route. You're very familiar with it and won't have to worry about accidentally changing settings that you can't get out of. Once you're back from your trip, you can fully immerse yourself in what a great camera the II is, especially after the v3.1 update. :)
 

AussiePhil

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wow - a lot of very cautious people in the thread.. it's been a few years since i upgraded as well but really if your not using custom settings then even with FW31 the mk2 is close enough that moving the relevant settings you prefer over and just get on using the mk2.
Significant benefits like larger image, better noise handling, faster camera, plain better experience, general consensus is that battery life is significantly better.... overall worth swapping even just before the trip.
I understand the concern but by the same token if the trip is that important photo wise i'd want the spare body anyway... a capped body only em1mk1 will fit in a large jacket pocket.
 

Replytoken

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wow - a lot of very cautious people in the thread.. it's been a few years since i upgraded as well but really if your not using custom settings then even with FW31 the mk2 is close enough that moving the relevant settings you prefer over and just get on using the mk2.
Significant benefits like larger image, better noise handling, faster camera, plain better experience, general consensus is that battery life is significantly better.... overall worth swapping even just before the trip.
I understand the concern but by the same token if the trip is that important photo wise i'd want the spare body anyway... a capped body only em1mk1 will fit in a large jacket pocket.
Just for the record, I have done a number of FW updates and have switched out a lot of bodies over the years and in a pinch been able to shoot without issue. But, a 13-page thread about SW issues warrants consideration, and my migration to a D500 from a D300 and D610 two years ago was a bit more tricky given that Nikon completely overhauled their AF system, despite 90% of the controls and commands not changing. The Mk II looks almost identical on the outside and I am sure that many of the menus can quickly be set up to get me what I had with my Mk I. But, my understanding is that the AF system is not just a tweak, especially after FW 3.x, and if the camera zigs when I expect it to zag (as the D500 sometimes did), then I am potentially missing shots that I should not have to. I shoot actively with two systems, three manufacturers, and at least four+ bodies, and manage to mostly keep them straight, but technological changes are not always evident and I am pressed for time to read in depth about the MK II's AF improvements.

Yes, I would like to bring a better body for the trip. But I am space limited and need to bring a different backup body for specific use. Thankfully this is not a lifetime trip, but it could be a fun one photographically. It really is a first world problem, and I know that, but who wouldn't want to take a new body out for a spin? It is just that things are not always as they seem, and that was why I has posted this thread.

--Ken
 

ac12

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This reminds me of an exchange I had with an HR consultant that came to our company to do motivational and teamwork stuff.

Expecting the standard answer, she asked me, "don't you like surprises ?"

Then I replied:
"NO. In my line of work, I do NOT like surprises. Because usually they are BAD."​
She was totally stumped and walked away without saying anything.
 

Holoholo55

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This reminds me of an exchange I had with an HR consultant that came to our company to do motivational and teamwork stuff.

Expecting the standard answer, she asked me, "don't you like surprises ?"

Then I replied:
"NO. In my line of work, I do NOT like surprises. Because usually they are BAD."​
She was totally stumped and walked away without saying anything.
I suspect that in my line of work (government regulatory agency), surprises tend to be bad too. Usually in the form of letters from attorneys threatening lawsuits!
 

ac12

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BTW, so far I have been pleased with the upgrade from the EM1-mk1 with FW ver 4.6, to the EM1-mk2 with FW ver 3.1.
Here are a few differences that affects me.
  • + The EVF issue (short freeze at the end of a burst) I have with the mk1 and fast action/sports is much reduced, to the point of being usable. I consider this a bug in the mk1 EVF.
  • + The EVF shows battery level in style 3 (full screen display of the image), vs. the mk1 where I had to use the smaller style 1 to get a battery status indicator in the EVF.
  • + I can turn on the AF indicator to STAY ON during a shot, vs. blinking on then back off with the mk1. This should really help when tracking action, where the LCD indicator is not prominent enough. I accidentally discovered this when exploring the menu. Then experimented to test it.
  • + Continuous High-Silent, goes up to 60 FPS. I can think of a few shots to try, where a FAST shutter will improve my chances of capturing the shot I want. There is a saying with some sports photogs, that the action you want to capture is always between the frames of a 6 FPS shutter. This should help with that. :biggrin:
  • + Auto ISO, you can specify a floor/low shutter speed. This helps when the 1/(FX x 2) default is too slow, like when shooting action in the LOW light of a gym.
  • + Auto ISO bug fixed. On the mk1, with e-shutter, the Auto ISO will let the shutter speed drop all the way down to 1/13 sec before the Auto ISO kicks in and raises the ISO level. This bug burned me several times, before I figured out that it was a bug, and not operator error.
  • + Pro Capture. I have not tried it out . . . yet. But I can see where it will help with my shot timing, due to the slight delay of the EVF.
Now the negatives.
  • - Bigger and heavier than the mk1. We are getting into dSLR bulk and weight, though still lighter than my D7200. Though for a PRO level camera, I can understand why it is getting bigger and heavier.
  • - Does not take the same L-bracket as the mk1. So have to buy a new L-bracket.
  • - Swing out back screen. I do not like swing out screens, I prefer the tilting screen of the mk1, which is easier and faster for me to use. And the swing out screen makes the use of an L-bracket more difficult.
  • - I don't like the short hinge on the battery door. Seems like a broken door waiting to happen.
  • - Additional cost: new L-bracket ($200) and batteries ($60 ea)
+/-
  • +/- The menu is more extensive, giving me more options. But at the same time, making it more complicated to configure. But I will gladly take the extra features.
  • +/- UHS2 memory card. Yes it is faster, but I still had to buy new cards. I also have to get a UHS2 card reader for my computer.
  • +/- The larger capacity battery seems to be giving me more run time. But I have yet to actually run it down, to measure the run time. This is most important for the power sucking 12-100 lens. But I still had to buy new spare batteries and maybe a spare charger. But I will take the greater capacity battery, for longer run time.
 
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AussiePhil

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Just for the record, I have done a number of FW updates and have switched out a lot of bodies over the years and in a pinch been able to shoot without issue. But, a 13-page thread about SW issues warrants consideration, and my migration to a D500 from a D300 and D610 two years ago was a bit more tricky given that Nikon completely overhauled their AF system, despite 90% of the controls and commands not changing. The Mk II looks almost identical on the outside and I am sure that many of the menus can quickly be set up to get me what I had with my Mk I. But, my understanding is that the AF system is not just a tweak, especially after FW 3.x, and if the camera zigs when I expect it to zag (as the D500 sometimes did), then I am potentially missing shots that I should not have to. I shoot actively with two systems, three manufacturers, and at least four+ bodies, and manage to mostly keep them straight, but technological changes are not always evident and I am pressed for time to read in depth about the MK II's AF improvements.

Yes, I would like to bring a better body for the trip. But I am space limited and need to bring a different backup body for specific use. Thankfully this is not a lifetime trip, but it could be a fun one photographically. It really is a first world problem, and I know that, but who wouldn't want to take a new body out for a spin? It is just that things are not always as they seem, and that was why I has posted this thread.

--Ken
All good Ken and by the sound of it you likely would have zero issues anyway, but it's your personal call.

It still seems that most are being overly cautious and even you are basing expectation on experiences with other systems.

I'm going to put this in reverse context after using the EM1X and EM1mk2 FW31 since they both became available and i would not hesitate to pick up my old EM1mk1 that my son has on loan and use it with only the following concern...... there is no way i would use/trust the AFC to be up to par with the newer bodies, the rest would just perform in line with technical limits between the systems ... no zagging when it should zig etc.
The only reason i didn't use it as a third body for his wedding shoot was he forgot to charge the batteries!!!!

the AF/CAF is so far improved on the Mk2fw3x that even if it did zag i'm personally convinced you would still end up with more keepers :)

didn't 3.1 resolved 99% of the 3.0 issues covered in that particular thread anyway...?
 

ac12

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Agree, the CAF on the mk1 did not behave well. It would still loose focus lock.
Head on shot of runners, some of the shots would focus on the background, rather than the subject. Could the AF have gotten confused by the solid color jersey of the runners? Maybe. Could also be the 75-300 contributing to the focus problem.
 

Replytoken

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I suspect that in my line of work (government regulatory agency), surprises tend to be bad too. Usually in the form of letters from attorneys threatening lawsuits!
I do project management and program administration in a government agency and have to answer to many auditors, so I am also a bit averse to surprises. My MO is to usually ask a ton of questions up front before I commit or move forward. I am not completely risk averse, but I want to know as best as possible what risks I may encounter. I know this is not an approach that works for a lot of folks, but it tends to keep me out of trouble. I guess some days it is hard to take off the work hat, even with hobbies.

--Ken
 

Replytoken

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- Swing out back screen. I do not like swing out screens, I prefer the tilting screen of the mk1, which is easier and faster for me to use. And the swing out screen makes the use of an L-bracket more difficult.
Thanks for this summary. It is about what I expected. And believe it or not, the rear screen is one of the items that kept me away from an immediate upgrade because I like to shoot from the waist at times, and a flip out screen makes this awkward. Not a deal-breaker, but not my cup of tea.

--Ken
 
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